LONDON (Reuters) - Coca-Cola European Partners forecast another year of revenue and profit growth for 2019, and announced plans to seek a new stock market listing on London’s main stock exchange.
The world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola drinks on Thursday also reported higher fourth-quarter sales and operating profit, helped by higher prices that offset falling volumes.
Another Coke bottler, Coca-Cola HBC, on Thursday forecast higher costs and weaker economies that will weigh on 2019 results, sending its shares lower.
Coke European Partners forecast low single-digit revenue growth for 2019, excluding any impact from currency fluctuations or incremental soft drink taxes, and comparable operating profit growth of 6 to 7 percent. It forecast earnings per share to grow 10 to 11 percent.
In the fourth quarter, the company said revenue rose 5 percent to 2.8 billion euros. Volume fell 2.5 percent, while revenue per case rose 6 percent.
Comparable earnings per share were 54 euro cents.
The company said it planned to continue a share buyback, buying up to 1 billion euros worth of its stock this year.
It also plans to seek admission to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange as a standard listing, and to delist from Euronext London effective 28 March 2019.
Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Edmund Blair